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This drag show has been going for centuries

What is the difference between a Catholic Priest and a Drag Queen?

LIPSTICK

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Apologists for the pope are beginning to raise their heads above their oft attacked parapet, claiming that the Pope was misquoted or mis-interpreted or translated.

This argument may on one hand be seen as disingenuous to media outlets who regularly cover the Pope and the Vatican; but on the other hand this argument undercuts the evengelical claim that the bible is the inerrent and infallible word of God.

If people cannot agree on what was said (and meant) in one language less than a week ago, how can we agree on what was said (and meant) up to 3000 years ago in a variety of ancient languages.

In what language did the Pope deliver his speech to the Curia? Was it in Latin, was it in Italian? In both cases whatever the Pope said had to be translated into English and interpreted as to its meaning. Words from one language may not have its exactly meaning counterpart in another, therefore what was meant in one language may have a different meaning after translation into another.

If the speech was delivered in Italian, then a contemporary language needed to be translated into another contemporary language, interpreted as to its meaning, taking into account political and social nuances of the time and publish it. I do not doubt that media commentators who cover the Vatican are aware of the languages used, what words mean, and what the underlying thrust of what is said.

One speech delivered about a week ago, having two translations, resulting in at least two interpretations.

What does that say about a book, some of it written as far back as 3000 years ago, in several ancient languages like Hebrew, Aramaic, Ancient Greek, and Latin, translated and re-translated into language after language through the centuries, given political interpretation after political interpretation through those same centuries, for it to arrive in our time in its various versions… the Bible!!

The inerrant and infallible word of God??

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In the history of blindly bigoted anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-different utterances that that have spewed forth from the mouths of a number of Roman Catholic Pontiffs, the most recent one is nothing short of breathtaking

Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

In a world where there is war, famine, genocide, massive corruption, a global economic collapse, epidemics of disease, and serious climate change, one of the world’s religious leaders sees a greater threat to mankind than any or all of these catastrophes… homosexuals and transsexuals…

The pope has named the latest scapegoats for the world’s ills. This pope, a former member of the Hitler Youth and Wehrmacht, under a regime that had its own scapegoats for its ills – the Jews… It seems that the world needs scapegoats – Is it incapable for taking responsibility for it own ills? Is the world capable of letting people live and love as they deem as their truth? Is the catholic hierarchy able to live by the words of he who they claim as their savior – <I>Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.</I>

The Pope is CEO of an organisation that oversaw the crusades, the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions, the retarding of scientific progress, and in recent times has been complicit in the systemic abuse of children and in both the covering up of the abuses and of defending abusers.

As far as rainforest destruction is concerned, the destruction of the largest rainforest in the world (the Amazon) is occuring in one of the biggest catholic countries in the world (Brazil).

The very idea that anyone gives this man, let alone the organization he leads, any moral authority on such a topic is, to me, uttely astounding.

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MSNBC Countdown program, Monday 10 November, 2008. Keith Olbermann’s special comment on the passing of California’s Proposition 8.

Transcript of the Special Comment:

http://thenewshole.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/11/10/1667759.aspx

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics, and this isn’t really just about Prop-8.  And I don’t have a personal investment in this: I’m not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics.

This is about the… human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not… understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want — a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them — no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble.  You’ll even give them all the same legal rights — even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?

I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage.

If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal… in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry…black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are… gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing — centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children… All because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling.  With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness — this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness — share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of…love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don’t have to help it, you don’t have it applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know…It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow **person…

Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

“I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,” he told the judge.

“It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:

“So I be written in the Book of Love;

“I do not care about that Book above.

“Erase my name, or write it as you will,

“So I be written in the Book of Love.”

Good night, and good luck.

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What follows is a talk I gave on January 20, 2005 at a disability and rehabilitation conference. While parts of what I spoke of are not new concepts, it is in how I presented them, and made several links that caught the interest of some of those present… Sadly, what I say in this talk is understatement.

I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when I was 39 years old.

Even though I was diagnosed with a condition that I had lived with all my life, and the effects of my difference had been noticed and acted upon, I can stand here and say with total confidence – I have never suffered from Asperger syndrome.

I have never suffered directly from its effects on my behaviour, I have never once experienced pain nor spontaneously bled at the moment when saying anything or doing anything inappropriately. I have not needed hospitalisation at the moment of reacting in a way that I thought was appropriate for the situation.

I have never suffered from Asperger syndrome, because Asperger syndrome itself does not cause suffering… I suffer grievously, and have suffered for more than 35 years, from OPD.

OPD is an insidious thing to experience,

it affects everything we do,

it effects what we think of everything we do,

it robs many of us of ambition,

and it inevitably affects how we think of ourselves.

OPD causes great suffering, often including physical pain and injury. It causes rejection, isolation, depression, sometimes even suicide.

OPD can lead the most brilliant people to doubt their abilities, qualities, even their basic worth as people.

OPD can cause systems to work against sufferers.

Systems like education systems – where the sufferers are penalised for being themselves.

Welfare systems – where the suffering is downplayed,

family systems – where the sufferers find more pain where they ought find solace.

OPD can affect families; it can cause rejection by siblings and parents.

The only known cure for OPD is education…

So what is this scourge?

What is this thing that some must endure a ceaseless battle against?

What is this thing called OPD???

OPD is – Other People’s Discomfort.

We (aspies) may not feel the discomfort, but we certainly suffer its consequences…

Let me put it like this:

Being uncomfortable about other people for one reason or another may be seen as part of the human experience; but when that discomfort leads that person to purposefully act against the person he or she fees uncomfortable about then we enter a different realm.

A definition of the word ‘disorder’ is – a condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning. If a person changes their usual pattern of life to purposefully act against a person as a result of his or her discomfort over them, then this person is experiencing a disturbance of normal functioning, of normal social functioning.

When the level of discomfort felt reaches the point of acting against another in response to that discomfort, then I argue that the discomfort becomes a disorder… But I think all that goes without saying – we know that, but we don’t break it down in such a way. We do not call OPDD (Other People’s Discomfort Disorder) by that name, we take groups of people with a particular difference that make others uncomfortable, and sectionalise OPDD, hiding its common basis. Hatred may be seen as an emotional manifestation of OPDD.

We call the discomfort over people of different races or skin colours RACISM

We call the discomfort over people from different countries XENOPHOBIA

We call the discomfort over people who are (or may be) homosexual HOMOPHOBIA

BUT

We seem to call the discomfort over people with a disability NORMAL

Each a different weed, but all from the same seed (discomfort of difference).

Can you see the link? Can you see how discomfort over someone else’s difference is the basis for so much unnecessary pain?

ONLY through education, only through learning about the qualities different people have irrespective of what colour their skin is, or where they came from, who they love, or how their brain works, or anything can we hope to eradicate OPDD…

OPD occurs only as a result of encountering a person with OPDD…

If being uncomfortable about other people for one reason or another is part of the human experience, then we are all subject to OPDD…

WHO MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE??

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